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article imageAt Occupy DC, hope defies eviction

By Yukio Strachan     Jan 30, 2012 in Lifestyle
Washington - Even as police arrested a protestor after subduing him with a Taser on Sunday, Occupy DC protestors carried on with business as usual Monday as the noon eviction deadline hit.
"Let us sleep so we can dream," protestors chanted while dragging a large blue Tarp autographed with the words “Tent of Dreams” over the statue of Civil War veteran James B. McPherson, the park's namesake.
According to CNN news, Friday, the National Park Service set a deadline for noon on Jan 30 for those who have occupied the two parks to remove their camping gear or risk the possibility of arrest.
But the only noticeable change were the signs in the hands of protestors — “HEY COPS: GO FIGHT CRIME” — one protestor held as officers walked by taking inventory of camping equipment.
As of Monday afternoon, reported the Washington Post, no protesters had been arrested, though U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said the protesters huddled under the "Tent of Dreams" were violating park rules.
High Noon for Occupy DC at McPherson Square
High Noon for Occupy DC at McPherson Square
In previous months,according to the New York Times, the Park Service largely kept its distance, as protestors are allowed to hold long-term vigils in federal parks, with one exception: no camping.
“We were under the apparent misapprehension that camping was illegal in McPherson Square,” Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina said last week, “and we look forward to hearing the National Park Service explain the different between camping and a 24-hour vigil, especially when that 24-hour vigil last several months.”
Gowdy's concern is not misplaced. Since October, some occupiers have come to McPherson Square uninvited: rats, lots of them, causing an infestation. The mayor, Vincent C. Gray is concerned about safety and illness, especially in the winter of hypothermia.
Tent City at Occupy DC on January 24  2012
Tent City at Occupy DC on January 24, 2012
Geoff Livingston
Occupy DC protesters have been camping in McPherson and Freedom Park since October as part of a larger movement that began last year in New York. Though each individual protestor has a different story, the theme remains the same: anger at greed and lack of accountability of those in positions of power in the corporate, financial and political sectors who derailed their lives, derailed their dreams.
“A lot of media attention of the movement has focused on confrontation,” Kathleen G. Sutcliffe, 32, a former journalist told the Washington Post. “But the real reason we’re here is, we have a deep hope — and this may sound like a cliché — that another world is possible.”
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